Growing up in public housing in the North East of England, it was heavily implied to me that the arts were not for me. That's why, for as long as I breathe, I'll fight for the arts to happen, and for them to be available up and down the country to as many people as possible.
A happy fact of life at Opera Holland Park is that our largest source of income still comes from the seats we sell to our audience. For an arts organisation that has to be a healthy state of affairs; the art itself is the focus and driver of everything. But we, like others, have to find people and organisations with the resources to make the books balance.
The National Gallery is one of Britain's most iconic public institutions. So what a huge pity that the National Gallery is also supporting the arms trade, by accepting sponsorship from Italian arms giant Finmeccanica.